Martone is a first rounder

April 29, 2022

Porter Martone is following in big footsteps as an Ontario Hockey League draft pick. A six-foot-three, 180 pound right winger with a late 2006 birth date (October 26), Martone was selected in the first round, fifth overall, by the Sarnia Sting on Day 1 of the 2022 OHL priority selections draft.

Martone, who put up 41 goals, 63 assists, 104 points in 53 games while starring for the Toronto Jr. Canadiens of the Greater Toronto Hockey League during the 2021-2022 season, is described in an OHL scouting report as “the type of player you win with. He is of high character and intelligence. He can play any style and has a very gritty and competitive side to his game but has also scored some highlight reel goals. His skating is good and his puck skills and his shot and release are in a league of their own. He shoots the puck better than a lot of junior players already. He plays a heavy game and is a high end player who will make an impact at the OHL level.”

While Martone is from Peterborough and played minor hockey in his hometown before moving up to the GTHL with the aforementioned Toronto Jr. Canadiens last fall, he has a deep-rooted Sault Ste. Marie side to him.

He is the son of Sault Ste. Marie native Mike Martone, a former hard rock, OHL defenseman with the Peterborough Petes. The elder Martone was drafted by the Petes from AAA midget Soo Legion in the third round of the 1994 OHL priority selections draft.

Not only did the elder Martone go on to captain the Petes but he netted one of the most important goals in franchise history when, on May 5, 1996, he scored the winning goal in overtime to give Peterborough a stunning 8-7 victory over the favoured Guelph Storm in Game 7 of the OHL championship series. Ironically, Martone’s OT winner was scored against Guelph goalie Danny Cloutier, a fellow Sault Ste. Marie minor hockey product.

Martone later played four years at the minor pro level after being a fourth round National Hockey League draft pick of the Buffalo Sabres. He then played at St. Francis Xavier University, became a school teacher, and settled down to raise a family in Peterborough, which is the hometown of his wife, Angela.

Back to the younger Martone and him being Sarnia’s first round pick at this year’s OHL draft, Sting general manager Dylan Seca had much good to say about his top selection.

“Competitiveness, skill, character – he has got it all,” Seca said of Martone. “Secretly, that was the player we were hoping would be there. He is the kid we wanted all along.

“When you have the opportunity to draft a player of that nature, it is rare,” Seca told Postmedia. “Porter is still a young kid. We are not putting a lot of pressure on him but we are really excited of the dynamic ability that he has.

“The release he has – he is going to score,” Seca said in further praise of Martone. “He can play heavy if he needs to. His habits and his character are honestly off the charts. This is a high-end leader.

“All the background work and all the character stuff that we did, it comes out as a can’t-miss type prospect,” Seca said. “We are pretty lucky to have been able to get him.”

Mike Martone holds the plaque which honours his overtime winning goal for the Peterborough Petes in Game 7 of the 1996 OHL championship series against the Guelph Storm. (Postmedia.)

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